What's the status of BYOD security?

Jul 23rd, 2014 / Category: Managed File Transfer

Their purpose is flexibility, productivity, and convenience, but bring-your-own-device policies can also instigate a fair number of headaches, especially for IT teams. Although a strong BYOD policy takes ownership issues, funding, training, and resources into consideration, the biggest challenge remains security. With cybercrime ever on the rise and digital information taking a heightened importance for organizations across industries, security is something that must be addressed with urgency and vigilance. 

And it has been. Experts have explored ways to balance BYOD security and privacy, protection and flexibility. There's no easy answer, however. Where exactly are we with BYOD security as a whole?

Vast majority of staff remain concerned 
According to Mobile Today, a recent survey commissioned by Webroot revealed that 95 percent of employees had concerns about security while using their own devices in the office. However, part of their discomfort might be their own fault as well as being caused by the shortcomings of their organizations in implementing a strong BYOD plan: The report also indicated that many workers fail to take the measures needed to keep company data and their own gadgets safe in the workplace, the source added. Instead, most rely on the security that came with their devices.

Concerned employees are joined in their worries by their employers: The study found that although 98 percent of participating organizations had BYOD policies in place, 95 percent of employers were nervous about security. 

Questions remain 
Another recent survey, the "BYOD & Mobile Security Report," which polled members of the Information Security Community on LinkedIn, revealed similar uncertainty about BYOD approaches. According to Mobile Enterprise, the LinkedIn study demonstrated that BYOD "has not been solved," with security concerns centered on the loss of company or client information and access by unauthorized individuals. Nearly one-third of respondents said that security threats caused a need for additional IT resources to handle incidents.

At the same time, a number of approaches have emerged that organizations can use to gain more control over BYOD at their workplaces. The LinkedIn report showed that the most common tactics are password protection, clearing data remotely, and encryption. However, many companies still need tools to manage mobile devices and one-quarter lacked any mobile device policy.

To boost success with BYOD, enterprises need a comprehensive, well-planned approach and an enforceable policy that includes both technical resources and education for staff members. Secure file sharing solutions, for example, can complement other components of this approach to better safeguard important company information without detracting from convenience.